Betz, Schulthies leave lasting impression

Herald File Photos
Northeast Dubois’ coach Vic Betz (left) announced his retirement from the Northeast Dubois track and field team after 44 years of coaching at the school. Betz originally retired in 2012 when the track was named in his honor but later came back on a year-to-year basis and decided to stay until 2018. Betz also coached cross country and was also an athletic director at Northeast Dubois during his tenure at the school. Here, he’s pictured with Calvin Sanders during the 2015 track sectional.

By HENDRIX MAGLEY
hmagley@dcherald.com

Vic Betz and Tammy Schulthies have been staples of the Northeast Dubois’ track and field programs for over 30 years so it only seems fitting that the two will step away from their respective programs at the same time.

On Tuesday night, the Northeast Dubois County School Board heard the retirements of both Betz and Schulthies as the Jeeps will be losing a combined approximate 70 years of coaching experience with as the two veterans will be stepping away.

While Betz and Schulthies have both had thoughts of retirement on their brains for the past few years or so, it wasn’t necessarily planned that the two would step away together.

“(Schulthies) had told me around 10 or 15 years ago that she would retire when I do and I told her ‘No, you can’t do that’,” Betz said with a laugh. “I knew it was weighing down on her pretty heavy and she was loaded down with schoolwork being a teacher as well.”

Schulthies added: “(Me and Betz) had kind of talked about it — I feel bad because they’re losing about 70 years of combined experience.”

Betz, who has coached track and field for the past 44 years and also was a longtime cross country coach and athletic director at Northeast Dubois, originally retired from all of his duties in 2012 but decided to stick around but basically on a year-to-year basis with a plan in mind to retire in 2018.

There were a few things that played into Betz’s decision to retire but the main reason was that he felt he was getting a little too old to be a full-time coach.

“I’m one of the older coaches in track and field in the state of Indiana and my knees are starting to go south if you know what I mean,” Betz said. “I can’t do the job like I used to — I’m 66 years old, I’m not a youngster anymore.”

Athletic director Terry Friedman said that Vic Betz’s impact will forever be felt at Northeast Dubois whether it’s next year or 20 years from now — there’s a reason why the track is named after him.

“When people talk about Northeast Dubois and our school corporation, I feel like coach Vic Betz always comes up,” Friedman said. “He’s always been able to relate to the kids — he had a knack of being able to lead them and get the best out of them in a very sincere kind of way as he was never an overbearing type of coach. To say that he’s going to be sorely missed is a gross understatement.”

Schulthies is looking forward to being able to spend more time with her sons in retirement as Austin is currently living in Michigan and Lucas moved to Louisiana, and she’s also just happy to be able to catch a breath for the first time since graduating from Indiana State in 1980.

Northeast Dubois girls track coach Tammy Schulthies (left) also announced her retirement this week after spending the last 30 years coaching track and field, cross country, swimming and cheerleading with both the Jeeps and at her first job at Jasper High School. Her track and field teams have won 10 Blue Chip conference titles, including seven straight from 2008 to 2014, and also won the sectional crown in 2010. Here, she’s pictured with Keina Lanman during the 2010 track sectionals.

She says that she’s been coaching or doing something involving extracurricular activities since graduating college as she’s worked at both Jasper High School and Northeast Dubois High School as a head coach for swimming, cross country, track and field and cheerleading.

“I’ve coached something every year since I’ve been out of college so I haven’t really had time to go visit (my sons),” Schulthies said. “As far as I can remember, I’ve been doing something with the extra curricular stuff.”

Both Betz and Schulthies have a plethora of fond memories from their time spent coaching whether it was cross country or track and field but no matter what sport it was, the biggest thing that the two longtime coaches will miss will be working with the kids.

“My most fond memory is coaching kids who maybe as a freshman or sophomore really didn’t show any promise at all for whatever reason but we kept with them and they ended up exploding into great athletes,” Betz said. “I really enjoyed my years here and I’ve said it often but my years coaching were some of the most memorable of my life. The great athletes I’ve had, the staff I’ve had, and the administration have always been big positives and it’s been a great experience over the years.”

Schulthies said: “I think what I’ll miss most is the kids I had come up to me and say that in other sports they never felt important but in (track and field) they felt important. The coaches here always cared no matter if you were good or bad.”

While Betz and Schulthies will still both be around Northeast Dubois as volunteers every once in awhile, the two coaches are looking forward to their post-retirement life.

For Schulthies, that means spending time with family and doing more outdoor activities.

“We camp, we boat, we have horses and we used to go on weeklong trail rides but we haven’t gotten to do that for years,” Schulthies said. “We have a little farm too and just a bunch of little things like that — I just want to enjoy it.”

Betz says he has a rather large bucket list but he has a key first priority to accomplish before he checks off any of the items on the list.

“First, I want to get healthy and I’ve been working on that a lot now and I already feel a lot better,” Betz said. “I also want to do some traveling — I’m going to Calgary in about two weeks and next year I want to go to Iceland. I also have sons in Louisville and Indianapolis that I want to see and I’m also a handyman and I enjoy doing things. But I’m going to leave the rest wide open, there’s just a lot that I want to do.”




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